Category Archives: yoga teaching

Try Surrender

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The abandoned one (A0)
and the yoga teacher (YT)
have a conversation:
AO: I can’t do this. I’m too hurt. I’m too scared.
YT: Just breathe. In this moment you are safe.
AO: I hate him. I am so angry at him
for doing this to me.
YT: Breathe. Slow down. You are safe.
AO: I will never be happy again.
YT: You can only be happy now.
AO: I am broken. No one will ever want me.
YT: You are inherently whole and complete,
just as you are. Feel this. Feel this breath.

AO: I am depressed and anxious. I want to die.
YT: This is temporary, like the weather.
You will live, and this will change.

AO: I am worthless. I am so ashamed of my choices.
YT: You are alive! How fortunate. Breathe into
the center of this hurt, this sadness. Give it room.

Feel it, and then let this feeling go.
AO: This is too much work. It isn’t fair.
YT: This moment. This breath. Feel your body.
Feel your heart beating. What a miracle!

AO: I’m about to be homeless. I’m terrified.
No one is going to rescue me. I don’t know what to do.
YT: Slow down. Breathe. You are going to be just fine.
There is a roof over your head right now.
Love this moment. This moment is all you have.

AO: I’m just so tired. I feel so beaten down, unwanted.
YT: Put your hands over your heart. Close your eyes.
Breathe deeply. You are infinite awareness.

AO: Why me? Why this? Why now? It isn’t fair.
YT: That’s only one part of your mind talking.
Listen to the part that is grateful for change.
Listen to the part that loves you.
Listen to the part that knows you are powerful.

AO: This is too much work.
YT: Yes. Struggling is a lot of work. Why not try surrender?

A Terrible Patient

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I give the good medicine that heals.
My voice carries magic
that soothes, uplifts and restores.
My touch brings life and renewal.
I watch as tension melts away
and peace returns to those
who come seeking the healing I offer.
I instruct them to remain present.
I remind them that we only have this now.
I can articulate perfectly
how our brains are hardwired
to remember negative information,
and how there is so much hope
in neuroplasticity,
our brain’s capacity to be reshaped.
I marvel at this ability
to give my students what they need,
to instruct poses that strengthen,
balance, reshape and empower,
to guide their breathing,
slow their heart rates
and allow the present moment
to blossom like a flower within them.
But when it’s time for me
to take my own medicine—
well, let’s just say
that I’m a wonderful doctor
but a terrible patient.

What One Was Born To Do

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Well…I got a lot done today,
and that feels good.
I definitely did not have the luxury
of lying in a ball of anxiety.
(Thank goodness for my yoga teaching gig;
it made me clean myself up and leave my house).
Off to my next class in a moment,
and my body is so tired,
yet I know I will do just fine.
Dinner is ready for the kids,
the sitter is on her way,
the kitchen is tidy,
and I’m about to teach again.
It’s amazing how good one feels
when one is doing
what one was born to do.*

*Now if only I could make enough money teaching yoga to support myself and my kids…but I’m starting to figure out ways to open up other streams of income, and all of it together, fingers crossed, will work out just fine. As soon as I figure out how not to be homeless, that is…

A Huge Success

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I taught a meditation workshop today
and only three people showed up.
From a profit-driven business standpoint,
it was a miserable flop,
not worth the time invested.
Luckily, I have access to other standpoints.
So when a young woman approached me
after the workshop, crying,
sharing that she remembered her deceased father
during our lovingkindness meditation,
when she appeared bewildered by her emotions
(even apologized for them),
and when I was able to praise her for her courage
and share with her that it was an honor and a privilege
to bear witness to her process—
I knew something bigger was at play here.
Today wasn’t about me turning a profit,
it was about me touching a life.
It wasn’t about material abundance,
it was about human connection.
It wasn’t about my personal glory,
it was about beholding the radiance
of a sweet soul coming home
after a long time away.

From this standpoint,
my workshop was a huge success,
and I am proud of the work that was done.

New Year, SAME You

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New year, SAME you.
Because the you
you’ve always been
is good enough,
so why would you want
a new one?
Plus, how could you possibly
have a NEW you?
Are you going to clone yourself?
I think not!
You were born YOU,
and YOU you will always be.
So let’s celebrate the New Year,
and the same you.
Because you’re awesome already,
and you deserve to be celebrated.
Here’s the secret:
You don’t need to do anything to be worthy.
You don’t have to change something,
fix something,
lose something,
gain something,
learn something,
or prove something
to be worthy of being here.
You were born,
and here you are,
completely worthy.
I dare you to
trash those resolutions,
take a deep breath,
throw your arms open wide
and say,
“HIP HIP HOORAY, I’M ME!”
There now,
doesn’t it feel good?

 

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Dedicated to fellow yoga teacher Pack Your Mat, who wrote this post about embracing yourself and your body just as you are, and dumping the ideas that you have to change anything at all about yourself as you enter this new year.  LOVED IT.

 

How Good This Life

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Tired from a long day,
but feeling grateful
and somehow complete…
as if all that needed to be done was done,
knowing that what was left undone
can wait.
Thankful for the class I taught tonight,
thirty-two souls trusting their bodyminds to me,
the privilege, the honor, the responsibility of this.
Standing in the place of channel,
seeing none of these teachings as my own,
but instead as pieces of the great cosmic puzzle,
all interconnected, making sense
in the togetherness.
I meditated just now,
and managed to stay awake.
I sensed a quietness, an alertness,
a different sort of self
that was present alongside my tired body
clamoring for sleep.
Settling now into a place of rest,
I see how good, how good this life is.

Fifteen Souls

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Fifteen souls appeared
ready to explore self-compassion.
I taught what I had learned
through my experience;
I shared my understanding.
We laughed a lot together.
There were moments
of quiet contemplation;
there were even a few silent tears.
And underneath it all,
a quiet awe,
the space to reflect,
to be…
In the end,
it wasn’t about what I gave to them–
their shining presence
gave so much more to me.